Games can be designed to evoke a plethora of different emotions in a number of different ways. Narrative adventures provide heartfelt moments intended to appeal to our sense of escapism, and high-score, racing or fighting games stoke the fires of competition.
Frustration is an emotion that's so often felt by those who consume video games for the wrong reasons, with anger at underwhelming mechanics, buggy experiences or shady corporate practices being less than desirable.
There are ways, however, that a video game can efficiently skate the line between frustrating and fun, with difficult combat encounters, seemingly impossible multiplayer management and online competition providing ways to both entice and annoy the player.
Video games stand alone in this field, as movies, comics, books or TV series only ever annoy the consumer when something goes wrong or a cliffhanger makes the viewer/reader itch for more only to be met with a lengthy wait.
Such games are the cream of the crop with regards to their replayability and engagement, making the player red-faced in rage but in a way that elevates the game's brilliance. These games succeed in this feat, working wonders pissing you off in the best possible way.
10. Super Meat Boy
Initially developed as a flash game in 2008, Super Meat Boy found a home on XBOX 360 in the fall of 2010. The game has since been ported to a handful of other platforms, and for good reason, as it's seemingly infinite replayability is as addicting as it is unbearably annoying.
Super Meat Boy's gameplay was incredibly repetitive, but in the best way possible. The fast-paced 'trial and error' approach to mastering its mechanics make up a significant portion of the game's overall length. The game is designed to piss you off, and it more than succeeds in doing so, with the elation of finally overcoming a level you've been stuck on for what feels like an eternity being worth the hundred-or-so attempts to get there.
The game doesn't punish death, instead welcomes it. Loading between unsuccessful attempts is non-existent, and each time the player sends Meat Boy diving head first into a saw blade the game immediately invites you to try again.
Super Meat Boy is as frustrating as they come, but the frustration the game provokes is very deliberate, and the player can't help but enjoy the torture.